Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring, sun and Friday Blog love!

Hello fabulous people!
It is FINALLY spring in Minnesota.  I feel kind of bad for my family who lives in more norther Minnesota....they still a PILE of snow.  But not bad enough that I couldn't go out and rake my yard.  Well not the whole yard.  It is in process!  It hasn't been done for years I am sure of it!  Dang squirrels and their digging and hiding walnuts.  They made a mess!  I have been enjoying getting outside and discovering the potential this yard has.  Since we moved here in September, I was more concerned with getting the house more livable and getting it ready for the onset of winter, so the yard just had the minimum of attention.  But now, I am seeing things starting to peek up out of the ground, it has me wondering what they are, hard to tell at this point, but it keeps me in suspense waiting!  Anyways, with all this fresh air and even a bit of sun, I have noticed a definite change in my art.  The colors are brighter, my subjects are lighter and more happy!  It is as if spring has sprung in my creativity.
I had such a wonderful time doing this page.  I didn't even write anything on it.  I just couldn't  I felt like it would ruin the feeling of it somehow!  I just had such a happy peaceful time creating this bird that i may have to make one out of my art journal and put to canvas to hang in my art room!   If anyone ever wonders if art journaling is messy......this is what my hands look like ALL THE TIME.  And YES, I do use brushes....I just use my fingers A LOT.  Maybe I didn't get to finger paint enough as a child and I am making up for it now.  There is nothing like smearing paint around with your bare hands!  Lovely feeling!!

Anywhooooooooo enough of me.  Onto Friday blog love!!!!

Tammy at Daisy Yellow has had a mission in the month of April to spread love to blogs all over!!  It has been a great way for me to find some new and amazing artists!  I have had a blast and have gotten some much needed inspiration!  So here is Fridays Fab Five!

  • Over at ArtyMess I am bowled over by the beauty of her textile art!  I just want to reach through the screen and TOUCH it!!!!  
  • I have just found a new artist that I have INSTANTLY fell in love!!!  Seriously LOVE!!! She is AMAZINGLY talented.  I know I throw the word amazing around...but she really is good!!!! Give some LOVE to Lynn Hoppe.  
  • Lisa Priti .  I love this blog.  I want to be able to shade faces like THIS!!!!
  • Sandra over at Doris's Daughter I had to smile at her latest painting....would that be me back in the day??  Love her style!!
  • Who of us struggles with finding time to creative in our day to day life.  It can be crazy, but over at A Girl and Her Brush, Wendy shows how she combats this with 10 minute art projects she has been doing!  Love her style so much!!!  PLUS she has the cutest little baby!!!!
There you have it.  Go love some blogs!!!  You may get inspriation you need to get GOING and get CREATIVE!!!  Remember you are AMAZING!!!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A glimpse into my art journals this week....and Daisy Yellow Prompt 6 #16

Hello sweetie pies! First off, it is tuesday, which means the new prompt 6 over at Daisy Yellow is out.  I forgot to load up last weeks so here she is.  Just for your information, I FINISHED IT like last Thursday, I just flaked out on getting the post up!  So here she is,  Hop over to to Daisy Yellow and see if you can find all the prompts on my page....some are pretty hidden!!!

It is a  little out of my normal comfort zone for colors, but I have been trying out some new color schemes to shake me out of the box.  I tend more towards pinks, light blues and purples.   
Here is a few glimpses into my ongoing art journals......

Thanks for stopping!!  Don't forget, you are amazing!!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Homemade Gesso, the good and the bad plus Link Love Friday

A couple of weeks ago I started to run out of gesso.  To some, this would not be a catostrophic event, while others (like myself) starts to freak out and want to go buy a five gallon pail of it.  I use it *ALL* the time.  If my background is too bright....throw a wash of gesso on it.  Oh that picture I just slapped on doesn't fade well into the picture....throw some gesso on it.  I messed up and HATE what I just did....put some gesso on it.  You get the idea.  I *heart* gesso.  BUT.  Yes, there is a but. But it is not in my budget.  We are on a crazy strict budget, tight is NOT the word for it.  But I do pretty good with getting artsy things with it.  I get twenty dollars a month right now for me, for whatever I want to use it for.  Now picture Gollum from Lord of the Rings....that is me holding my twenty dollar bill, saying my precious, my precious...and I am NOT kidding.  Ask my sister, she saw it first hand. I milk that twenty for all it is worth.  I buy cheap acrylic paint, even though I drool over Golden Fluid Accrylics (someday....someday!!!).  I have even made my own alcohol inks because of the price of a tiny bottle of the beautiful Ranger inks.  I am limited and I still make me  some arty happiness in my art journal.  So I went to Hobby Lobby and looked at gesso, by the way, can I live at hobby lobby?  Anyways I digress, nothing against Hobby Lobby, but it would have blown my twenty bucks down to fifteen.  So I went to Walmart.  Again, I hesitated because it was ten dollars for a bottle that wouldn't last me that long.  I was frustrated. I asked an online group if they had ever made there own gesso and this is a reply of two recipes from a very nice lady!

"There are two recipes you can use I haven’t as yet tried the second one as I have decided I really like using the drywall compound recipe because it can double as modeling paste. You can buy a gallon bucket or a quart tub at wal-mart I paid $5 for the gallon bucket which will last forever even if my husband digs into it when we turn the daughter’s bedroom into a guest bedroom ;) lol

Gesso Recipe 1
3 Parts Drywall Compound.
1 Part PVA (Elmer’s) Glue)

You can a little extra glue or a bit of water if you want to thin it down some I have to mixtures because I like it thick so it can be used as modeling paste.

You can add a bit of paint if you wish to color it just an FYI adding white really isn’t going to help much with this compound recipe unless you add a whole bunch if you’re going to cover your page with another color don’t waste your paint. I added about an 1/8 of a cup and still it had more of a clear grey tint about it. My tip if you just put your gesso on your page dry and then paint over it with white you get the same white gesso look and don’t waste your paint. But if you want black or grey gesso go for it.

Gesso Recipe 2
1 Part PVA (Elmer’s Glue)
3 Parts Water
6 Parts Baby Powder (or any kind of powder this adds the tooth)
White (or any color you want) paint just add until you get the desired color.

If you are unsure try the mixture on a test sheet before your project to see how it will look."
Thank you Theresa Lisiecki-Pillow!  So I decided to try it. I did recipe number two with the baby powder.  I have mixed reviews on it. I will not be throwing out the store bought gesso yet.

I did a LOT of testing (playing) with the homemade version I made and took a lot of notes.  Here is what I came up with!

Homemade Gesso-the good
  • It is toothier and grabs on to the paint more
  • works well on a more porous surface
  • Charcoal sticks to the page better
  • Watercolor (tubed) on a rough surface grabs on to the page better
  • Can achieve more of a transparent glaze like look
Homemade Gesso-the bad
  • Waterier
  • Smells like baby powder (I do NOT like the smell of baby powder
  • Takes longer to dry
  • Takes more coats to fully cover words and images 
  • Does not scrape well onto the page for texture
  • Does not stay put for a heavy texture, especially on smooth surfaces
  • Do not like how fluid acrylics work on this surface

Store Bought Gesso-the good
  • Smoother
  • Less coats for full coverage
  • Scrapes better for texture especially on smooth surfaces
  • Fluid acrylics work much better, flows onto the page better
  • Oil pastels smudge better
  • Water color crayons work better

Store Bought-the bad
  • More expensive
  • On a more porous surface it seems to "suck" it up more so you have to use more of it
  • Isn't always as transparent as I would like
  • Charcoal doesn't grab onto as well
  • MORE EXPENSIVE (I know it was at the top of the list but it is the ONE thing that deserves to be doubled up!)
Both had almost the identical work-ability with regular acrylic paint and when covering bright colors like this...

It was very similar.  I applied with a paint brush. on both sides.

So, I have come to the conclusion that the homemade gesso definetly is worth the small effort of making.  I will use it on larger applications and on porous surfaces.  I still will have to buy gesso though.  It adheres to smoother and gloss better, which is one of my altered book journals surfaces.  I think with the addition of the homemade version that I will be able to save quite a bit of money in the long run.  It cost  $.34 for the glue, $1.00 for the powder, and a trivial amount of white paint that I already had.  Compare that to the price of bought gesso....I think it is a good way to use my money to the fullest extent.  I will have to try recipe number 1 when I get a chance to get drywall compound.  It may have that thicker quality that the store bought has that I miss with the current recipe.  We shall see!!!

Now, onto spreading link love.  Tammy over at Daisy Yellow has a mission, and as I said before, if Queen Tammy needs a little help count me in!  So here are the fab 5 blogs of my week.

Roxeanne Padgett is an amazing artist, she gave me a great idea on a new way of using hole re-enforcers! It goes along perfectly with my budget  mentioned above...

Kelly Kilmer left me in tears on her post about her dad.  I am a serious daddy's girl, so it was very touching!

The Graphics Fairy has a continuous supply of copyright free images. I can spend HOURS looking at them all!  

Seth Apter *sigh*!  Go there RIGHT NOW...I am not kidding....between Tammy's and his blog I could be lost for days in arty goodness.  Why are you still reading this??? GO!!!

Last but not least by any means is Anna Sender I love her style, her drawings just everything about her work!  Inspiring to me!

Thanks for dropping by!  Now spread a little love to each to each other!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Back in the saddle of Prompt 6!

Over at Daisy Yellow (have we guessed that this *may* be my favorite place in my art world???), Tammy has a weekly art journal prompts that consists of 6 things to include somehow in your art journal page.  The last couple of weeks have been a bit "different" for me.  When my routine with snow days in April, birthday and a last minute trip up north I haven't sat down like I usually do and devote the time I usually do for this  creative exercise.   When I do get upstairs I tend to sit at the sewing machine for a few minutes instead of at my table with my journals.  Just a mood I suppose!  But I said to myself...."Self, get it together   Lets get this weeks prompt 6 DONE"  So that is just what I did!  I decided to keep it pretty simple.
No major texture or collage treatments on this.  Just a bit of alcohol ink, watercolor, pen and willow charcoal (new toy I love but have decided it definitely needs a fixative-it is on the wish list)  Simple.  That is what I am feeling like lately.  I like my simple life, my simple routines, my simple pleasures.  Why have so much clutter?  Which brings me to a promise I made in the last post, to show the newly cleaned studio space.  I forgot to take pictures so I will have to post it *next* time.  I will, I promise promise promise!   Loves to all!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spread the love-week 2!

First off, not as much creative work this week.  More of, I have to clean my art areas before  I lose my dog forever in the piles of paper.  It is a task that needed to be done.  I would sit down and almost immediatly lose something which caused frustration and anxiety, which in turn equal LESS creative mojo!  So I tackled the sewing area first which looked like this.....

um...color me embarrassed!  Then onto this holy mess!!

Here is my poor little sweet Pixie just looking with disgust at the mess around my feet, she didn't have room to sit by them so she had to lay on the bed.  Poor dog, do you feel sorry for her having to sleep in a nest of pillows and my sweatshirt?

I *heart* my little sweetie pie!  
So anyways.  I will show you the finished product of my spring clean on the next post.  Now, now it is time for a little loving!!!

I am spreading the love for Tammy over Daisy Yellow.  She is undertaking a MEGA-WONDERFUL project to spread blog love!  It is great!  You get to see some wonderful blogs that you haven't found before.    My favorites file is HUGE now!  It is a great way for inspiring yourself with others art.  It is like a match to your creative bonfire! So here are my fab five links this week!!! 

1. Barb over at Art Journaling II has a really informative post about what she her favorite pens and yummy colors she uses in her art journal.  
2. Sammie over at Journal Girl has posted a video about the "process"  lovely.  I love her!!!
3. I love everything about Joanne Sharpe.  EVERYTHING!!
4.Orly over at one artist journal has a way of saying something beautifully, this post was something I understand completely!!
5. On Erin Bassett's blog she shows a recently completed art journal, but what really struck a chord with me is how she describes art journaling as her "sanity keeper".  I totally agree.

 Don't forget to pop over to her post (here)  to get everyone's blog post links!!  Have fun and keep the love going!!!


Monday, April 8, 2013

What I've been doing!

I found my camera.  Yes, I know.  HOW can you lose your camera???....and I said I used to be a scrapbooker!  I am properly shamed thank you.  Anyways, as I was saying, I found my camera so I thought I would snap some shots of my creative life right now.  I have been VERY prolific on the sewing machine.  Tammy Garcia unknowingly challenged me to use it.  I *may* have went a little over board. I started on a few little index cards and then low and behold we got some coupons in the mail that were on 5x7 card stock ...for free.  I rejoiced and used them to first (pictured above) make a collage just for me (I love it.  It is OK to love your work....I tell myself that....but I do still feel a little weird about it) and then I thought,  why not make a bunch of cards to try to sell either on ETSY (scary) or locally (possibly scarier).  I suppose if they don't sell I can give them to my mom in law for a gift.  I am not so great corresponding with people via snail mail.  I have good intentions, but they always seem to fall flat of the finish.  SO I have a pile of them all stitched up.  I just need either buy (gasp I don't think so) or make (probably) some envelopes.  I even made a cute little notebook.  I am ready to start on a different color palette now though!!  Here are the pics of my art life right now!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spread the love guys!

Tammy Garcia over at Daisy Yellow (who I ADORE) is on a new mission. To spread the love! I love the idea, and want to help. First off, let's just state that Tammy is AMAZING. I kind of have an "art" crush on her and her work! Kind of sounds creepy but I mean it in a totally NONE creepy type of way. She inspires me and my art, so if Tammy (who I have affectionately dubbed Queen Tammy) asks for some help and I am able to give it....well I am going to do it! So here it goes. My link love for the first week of April.

1. Lets start off with Regina over at Creative Kismet! First of all, isn't her blog banner THE BEST! I love the colors! Anyways, her art on magnolia leaves are A.M.A.Z.I.I.N.G. Of course I am in awe that someone has some leaves to work with, what with it still being winter this spring in Minnnesota. Jealous! 

2. Natasha White is another *art crush* I have. She is also AMAZING. She has such a wonderful style about her! She shows a beautiful spread of a technique she is linking too on her blog. Gessoed flowers=LOVE. PLUS she always really cute pictures of her kids during Holi week covered in color...give her a bit of love from me!!!

3. Pam Garrison. She uses such beautiful bright colors. It makes me want to try getting out of my normal comfort many pages can I do with purple and light blue? Take a second and really look at her banner, see that paint brush? Isn't that flipping adorable???!! OK. so this makes me jealous. I love this love pillow. I wish I could sew a straight line....*sigh* maybe in another life!!!
She is such a great inspiration!!!

4. Paula, I love your style lady! Look at her art journals!!! Beautiful. 'nuff said.

5. Last but not least is is Gabriele. I met her over on the Daisy Yellow face book page and *instantly* loved her work. She posted her very first "attempt" at art journaling. When I look at it I cannot help but be in awe of her talent. Bask in her sunlight she creates in her art! The colors are rich and so deep! LOVE HER!!!! go check her out!!!

so there is my love for 5 amazing and talented women....well actually six when you count Queen Tammy! Give a little support and visit!!! I for a fact know that getting comments on my blog is such a nice feeling!!! Spread the love!


A new start?

I will admit. I am horrible at follow through. Have been my whole life....will probably die having LOTS of things started and not finished. It is genetic. Seriously. I am not kidding. My mom was the same EXACT way. I barely new her so how else do you explain the same horrible trait. I (mom as well) want(ed) to know how to do everything, but finish NOTHING! So, for me to say that I vow to keep this blog up, well, it would be a big fat lie. I will state that I will TRY to post on a somewhat regular basis though, you know, like more than once every two years. I have lots of excuses, and very valid ones, but they still are excuses. So, with that, let's start over.

Hi, my name is Jennifer. I am a former scrapbooker who felt caged up in that world. I like to push the boundaries a bit too much to fit into that group, so I changed it up. I found a new love, a better way of using my creative juices. I have found art journaling and mixed media art. I love the free feeling, the "you can do anything" mantra of it, the way you can splash paint on a book and create something you *feel*, instead of just a pretty layout. Now no one freak out, I still like scrapbooking, but this...this is something that is just for ME. If you don't *get it* it is fine, because I do. These pages mean something to me. It is an extension of what is going on inside of me. Some people use words on paper, I find that I won't write what I am truly feeling, because I can't find the proper words to do it, but with art supplies I can release what is inside of me without inhibitions. Without worrying what people will think if they come across it. Sometimes it's pretty and bright, other times is raw and a bit dark. But isn't life like that? We can't have all blue skies and rainbows. There has to be a bit of rain and wind as well. So there you have it. You can take it or leave it. But I have found my niche finally!

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Let's see what I come up with next!!!